Maxed out - Chump change 

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I’m not even going to wade into a debate about whether the ends justify the means. Whether it’s daycare, dog pounds or hockey rinks, the way of the future seems destined to be an unholy blend of corporate sponsorships, benevolent bequests and amenity swaps, at least until Victoria gets off its keester and recognizes this special kind of town it helped create needs special powers of taxation to siphon off a few more bucks from each of the tourists who come here to play.

But let’s not sell ourselves short.

I don’t object to being a hooker; I just object to being a cheap hooker. If we’re going to play Let’s Make a Deal, let’s sharpen our pencils and decide what we think things are worth, not just sit around waiting for someone to make a bargain-basement offer.

$300,000 for 3,000 square feet is chump change. A thousand bucks a square foot.

Let’s face it, Messrs. Houghton are in the development business; they may live in their homes forever and they may flip them into a hot real estate market next year. What’s the economic benefit of an extra 3,000 square feet on the open market? Whatever it is, that should be the opening bid. Throw in another bone or two for turning a blind eye to existing zoning.

With more quids coming down the road, we need sharper pros than we seem to have doing the deals. Send this turkey back to the bargaining table.

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